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MDC-T to Suspend Ex-MP Ian Kay Over Alleged Tsvangirai Remarks

Zimbabwe opposition party Movement For Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai addresses a news conference in Harare Sept. 18, 2013.
The Movement for Democratic Change formation, led by former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, has moved in to crush dissent following what may be a growing chorus of senior members calling for a change in party leadership.

The party’s Mashonaland East province is moving to suspend former Marondera Central Member of Parliament, Ian Kay, for allegedly calling Mr. Tsvangirai “a rusty bolt which needed to be replaced."

Speaking with Studio 7, Mr. Kay said he did make that remark, but said he was labeling party leadership generally, and did not mention Mr. Tsvangirai or any other party leader by name.

The MDC has also dispatched its standing committee, the party's top leaders, to engage exiled treasurer Roy Bennet, who has also openly called for Tsvangirai to step down after his electoral defeat to President Robert Mugabe earlier this year.

The MDC-T has already suspended several mayors and councilors for alleged dissent.

Mr. Kay told the VOA that he has not yet received formal communication from the party regarding a suspension, but says he was told such a move was forthcoming.

MDC-T party spokesman Douglas Mwonzora says the party encourages discussions about "leadership renewal," but insists they must take place in the "proper forums."